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Call for Entries closes at midnight – Sunday 1 Sep 2019

Three unique organisations are collaborating to provide a significant platform and stepping stone for young artists. The new Robert Walters Group UK Young Artist of the Year Award in partnership with Saatchi Gallery will discover and champion exceptional artists who are representative of contemporary Britain.

From an open call across the UK we are seeking to discover 10 outstanding artists whose work demonstrates a strong and original voice, and is of exceptional artistic quality.  We’re looking for artists who represent the UK’s richly diverse population, and embody the experiences of their community. Artists who create bold, unique pieces of art that reveal their own perspectives and experiences and whom represent unique viewpoints and will help start new conversations in the UK art scene.

The 10 shortlisted artists’ work will be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London for a VIP awards evening.

First Award:

£10,000 cash prize

The winner’s work will be shown at the Robert Walters Group head office for a period of 12 months following the award and at an international presentation with UKYA in 2020.

Second Award: 

£5,000 cash prize


You must be aged between 18–30 (on or by Sunday 1st September 2019) and be allowed to work or study in the UK at the time of making this submission.  If shortlisted, you must be available to be in London on Monday October 7th 2019.  Artists should be working within the following fields:

Applied arts: ceramics, glass, textiles, jewellery,

Digital Arts: Moving image, performance video, technological arts

Fine Arts: painting, printmaking, photography, installation, sculpture.

Selection Criteria

Judges will be looking for works which reflect the following:

Diversity of Experience, Diversity of Expression, Diversity of Thought

and who can demonstrate a strong and original voice with exceptional artistic quality and  looking to open up new opportunities for their work using this exemplar platform.

Selection Panel

Applications will be reviewed by UKYA and by a selection panel which will consist of representatives from each partner organisation and leading artists from the above fields.

Judges will include Philippa Adams – Senior Director of Saatchi Gallery, Robert Walters – art collector and CEO of Robert Walters Group, Gavin Turk – artist, Michael Forbes – artist, and Rosalind Davis an artist, writer and UKYA alumni.


The ten shortlisted artists’ work will be curated at the Saatchi Gallery by Garth Gratrix. Garth Gratrix is an internationally exhibiting artist, curator and director based in the North West. Garth works in favour of the artist as part of wider strategic developments that consider and impact on culture, people and place. From Gallery installations, site specific interventions, residencies, research and engagement programmes to large scale festival production, Garth has an open and progressive way of producing collaborative platforms for art.

Garth was Places for Art Manager for LeftCoast- Blackpool’s Creative People & Places programme supported by Arts Council England; which led to the development of the first contemporary arts studios on the NW Lancashire coastline- Abingdon Studios Ltd.

Alongside establishing new spaces for artistic experimentation, Garth has also acted as Art Commissioning Lead for Art B&B CIC- a capital works project in Blackpool reimagining the role art plays within hospitality and tourism. Recent work with UKYA has included GRAFT- a show of UK young artists showcasing artists from across the UK in the second most visited contemporary art exhibition to have been on display at The Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library, Preston and he has twice been shortlisted for the Clore Visual Artists Fellowship.

Financial Support 

Robert Walters Group will provide a small stipend of £200 for each of the ten shortlisted artists to attend the awards event in London on Monday October 7th and will cover all shipping costs for works to be delivered to and from the Saatchi Gallery.  The partners will also be producing an exhibition booklet and extensive promotional activity of the shortlisted artists.

Key Dates:

Monday 8 Jul 2019

Call for Entries opens

Sunday 1 Sep 2019

Call for Entries closes at midnight

w/c 9 Sep 2019

Selection Panel to meet & shortlist 10 artists

Friday 20 Sep 2019

Shortlist Announced

w/c 23 Sep 2019

Communication with selected artists; artists to arrange shipping of work to arrive at Saatchi Gallery on Friday 4th October

Monday 7 Oct 2019

Exhibition & prize-giving event to be held at the Saatchi. Each shortlisted artist will receive 2 VIP guest invites.

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